The Bears found a trade partner in the Colts for the No. 1 pick

The Chicago Bears finished the 2022 season with the worst record in the league. But they also took the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

General manager Ryan Poles has an important selection decision to make. But of course, Chicago is expected to explore the possibility of a return with a team willing to pay well to move up to No. 1 overall and get the quarterback of its choice, whether it was Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Will Levis from Kentucky or Anthony from Florida Richardson.

There should be no shortage of trading partners for the top spot. And in the latest round of mock drafts, it’s clear that people believe the Indianapolis Colts will go No. 1 — even if GM Chris Ballard thinks they can still get a QB at No. 4.

WITH Jalen Carter’s legal situation, this certainly calls into question his future. But the situation will unfold over the next few months. And that doesn’t seem to be reflected in these latest mocks.

We’ve rounded up the latest 2023 NFL mock drafts, where the Bears manage to trade up for additional capital — mostly with the Colts — and still have the top defensive prospect.

Draft Wire: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – TRADE!

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Luke Easterling of Draft Wire has the Bears trade with the Colts, where they get extra picks and draft Carter at No. 4 overall.

After trading down twice and loading up on extra picks, the Bears still end up with arguably the best player in the draft. Carter’s legal situation could obviously play a role in where he lands, but it’s too early (and distasteful, given the tragic events involved) to speculate on any of that at this point.

CBS Sports: EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama – TRADE!

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Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports Chicago also traded three spots with Indianapolis, where the Bears are taking Alabama’s first non-quarterback in the draft, edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.

Anderson is giving me serious Khalil Mack vibes, which makes this a perfect fit for the Bears, especially after the return. In the trade, the Bears get this pick, the Colts’ 2nd and 4th round picks along with a 2024 first-round pick and a third-round pick, plus a 2025 second-round pick.

Grid Draft: EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama – TRADE!

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Damian Parson of Grid Design has the Bears trade with the Colts, where they get picks 4 and 25, as well as a 2024 first-rounder.

With the No. 4 pick, Chicago selects Anderson to bolster their defensive line.

Bringing back and getting the second best player in the draft along with the extra picks is masterful. Will Anderson Jr. is a threat from the edges. He combines explosiveness, power, violent hands and a hot motor to make defenders constantly feel his presence.

Pro Football Focus: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – TRADE!

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Professional football focus has the Bears find a trade partner in the Colts, where they get extra picks and still manage to land Carter as the top defensive player at No. 4.

I expect the Bears to move down — but not so much that they lose out on their perfect prospect in Jalen Carter. He can be the engine that powers Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 defensive front.

USA Today: EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

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Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today Chicago stayed first and selected Anderson, who is arguably the best prospect in this draft class.

It looks like we’re still waiting for the first domino to fall with the Bears moving this pick to a linebacker hungry team. But wherever Chicago chooses, Anderson is considered an extremely attractive option for a defense that has recorded a league-worst 20 sacks. One of several considerations for Ryan Poles and Co. in a potential trade scenario, it should be how far they are willing to move with the departure of Anderson and Jalen Carter to the next level of defensive linemen. DT Jalen Carter, Georgia

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Bucky Brooks of has the Bears staying No. 1 overall and getting a disruptive inside linebacker in Carter.

This play-destroying interior linebacker is the perfect building block for Matt Eberflus’ revamped defense.

The Athletic: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia

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Nick Baumgardner of the Athletic remains the Bears’ No. 1 overall pick, though he admits they could trade the No. 1 spot. With the No. 1 pick, Chicago gets a devastating defender in Carter.

The question for Chicago when it comes to the possibility of trading this pick is whether anyone believes Bryce Young is the type of generational quarterback worth trading up for. Choice number 1 is really expensive, and if you own one, you won’t get rid of it unless the catch is just as good. Is the gap between Young and CJ Stroud that big? Is Young that good? The Bears only need one team to say yes to both.

Would Chicago consider taking less than what a team in this situation could get, say, next year if guys like Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are there? Maybe, or the Bears could just take a generational defenseman. I like Carter ahead of Will Anderson Jr., especially in terms of the fit with Chicago right now, but Anderson would also work.

CBS Sports: EDGE Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama) – REPLACEMENT!

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Tyler Sullivan, CBS Sports Chicago moved back three spots with Indianapolis, where they landed the No. 4 pick, a 2024 first-rounder, as well as several other Day 2 picks between the 2023 and 2024 drafts.

The Bears can build up draft funds by giving up the No. 1 pick and still land one of the better defensive players in the draft. Chicago ranked dead last in pressures in 2022, so Anderson is a welcome sight in Matt Eberflus’ edge defense.

Pro Football Network: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – TRADE!

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James Fragoza of the Pro Football Network has the Bears swapping with the Colts for picks: picks 4, 35 and 79, as well as the first and second rounders in 2024.

While the Bears could trade up once more, they won’t want to miss out on blue-chip talent at the top of the draft. After shipping most of its defensive players over the past two years, Chicago begins its rebuild with arguably the best player in the draft: Jalen Carter.

Yardbarker: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia

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Seth Trachtman of Yardbarker has the Bears staying at No. 1, although he admits they will most likely move lower in the draft. With the top pick, Chicago gets help on the defensive interior.

There’s a strong possibility that Chicago trades since they already have Justin Fields, but if they don’t, the non-guard pick is probably between Carter and Will Anderson. The team can do no wrong in any case. Carter has a chance to become an elite interior pass rusher at the next level and showed in his final college season with three sacks and seven tackles for loss in 13 games

NBC Sports Philadelphia: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – TRADE!

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NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank Chicago also trades with Indianapolis, where the Colts get their running back Bryce Young and the Bears get a bunch of picks and Carter at No. 4 overall.

Carter could end up being the best defensive player in the draft. The guy is a beast and it’s a shame he’s not working out at the Combine because that would be a historic performance. Then again, he really doesn’t need it. Carter, the latest in a long line of Georgia’s recent first-round defensive picks (Roquan Smith, Deandre Baker, Eric Stokes, Lewis Cine, Devonte Wyatt, Quay Walker, Jordan Davis, Travon Walker), destroys the game against both the rest and the running back. Don’t be shocked if Gannon picks Carter over Anderson.

Bears Wire: EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson – TRADE!

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Nate Atkins of Bears Wire has Chicago trading back twice with the Raiders and Titans, where they land a boatload of picks, including Nos. 11, 38, 41, 72, as well as a 2024 first-rounder.

With the 11th overall pick, the Bears get a versatile defensive player in Clemson’s Myles Murphy.

Chicago doubles back from first to pick 7 and then to 11, selecting Myles Murphy, who can play edge or 3-technique in Matt Eberflus’ defense. The two trades give the Bears a future at No. 1, early second-round picks and a handful of mid-to-late round picks.

Vikings Wire: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia

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Tyler Forness of Vikings Wire Chicago selects arguably the best prospect in the draft in Carter at No. 1 overall.

In a no-trade draft, Carter is the perfect player to add to the Bears defense. Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 defense is really focused on good penetration in the 3-technique, and Carter is as dominant as can be.

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The story originally appeared on Bears Wire

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